Fernando López

Senior Research Scientist, CSIC

Short Biosketch

Fernando López (A Estrada, 1975) obtained his PhD in 2003 at the University of Santiago de Compostela.

He carried out two predoctoral stays at the ETH-Zürich (with Prof. Erick M. Carreira) and at Yale University (with Prof. John F. Hartwig), and a postdoctoral stay with Prof. Ben L. Feringa at the University of Groningen (Marie Curie Fellow, from 2004 to 2006).

In 2006, he joined the University of Santiago de Compostela as a Ramón y Cajal Fellow and, in 2008, he was granted a Tenured Scientist position at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), joining the Instituto de Química Orgánica General (IQOG).

In 2012, he was assigned to the CiQUS (Center for Research in Biological Chemistry and Molecular Materials - USC) where he is, since then, developing his research career as PI. In 2018, he was promoted to Senior Research Scientist and, since 2020, he also belongs to the Misión Biológica de Galicia (CSIC) research center.

He is the author of more than 80 publications and 3 patents.

h = 42, > 5065 citations

ResearchID: A-3375-2013
ORCID: 0000-0002-0235-6858
See also: metbiocat.eu

Research Interests

Development of new catalytics synthetic methods

We are interested in the development of cost-effective, innovative and creative catalytic synthetic methods that allow a straightforward and versatile entry to a variety of target-relevant molecular frameworks from very simple, readily accessible substances. Moreover, a key feature of the research consists on the development of enantioselective versions of these synthetic methods,by designing and/or using novel chiral catalysts.

Whitin this context, in collaboration wit Prof J. L. Mascareñas at CIQUS, we are particularly interested in the development of:

  • New transition metal-catalyzed cycloadditions, particularly with gold, palladium and nickel organometallic catalysts (see for instance: link1, link2, link3)
  • Novel catalytic processes involving the synergistic combination of a transition metal (e.g. a gold catalyst) and an organocatalyst (e.g. for enamine or iminum activation) (link4).
  • New catalytic asymmetric methods based on transition metal-catalyzed activations of particularly inert C−H bonds, followed by concomitant enantioselective cyclizations (link5, link6).

Enantioselective synthesis of structurally complex, potentially anticancer natural products. Studies on their biological functions

Many structurally complex natural products with very promising biological activities can only be obtained from nature in low amounts, completely insufficient to carry out all the required biological and medicinal studies. Moreover, since their structures are very complex, their synthesis in multigram scales, as well as the access to potentially more active analogues, is very often inefficient (more than 30 synthetic steps, low yields and/or selectivities). Among these products, we are interested in promising cytotoxic agents: guaianes like Englerin A (renal cancer), Arglabin (lung cancer), tiglianes like Sapinsignoids (lung cancer) or some marine products like Bielschowskysin (renal and lung cancer).

Our aim, taking advantage of the above mentioned methodology program, is to apply the newly developed synthetic methods to provide a highly efficient, versatile and enantio selective entry to some of these structurally complex polycyclic products as well as to more active analogues The design and synthesis of structurally related probes which could be used to shed light on their biological functions of this targets is also a key objective.

Biological studies

Having access to these structurally complex natural products and related analogues, we collaborate with (chemical) biologists to advance in the knowledge of their biological roles, including the identification of their cellular targets and the study of their molecular mechanism of action.

Other Recent Research interests

Other recent interests include the development of transition metal catalyzed bioorthogonal reactions, aiming to solve current limitations in this field (link7)

Selected publications